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NASA finalizes future Artemis SLS production with Boeing

SLS core stage. Credit: NASA / Eric Bordelon

Edinburgh, 13 December 2022. – NASA has signed the US $3.2-billion SLS Stages Production and Evolution Contract with Boeing for the manufacture of the core and upper stages of future Space Launch System (SLS) rockets for the Artemis missions going to the Moon and beyond, NASA said.

Under the agreement, Boeing will produce the core stages for Artemis III and IV. In addition, the company will provide the exploration upper stages (EUS) and procure critical material for the core stages of Artemis V and VI. Boeing will provide tooling, support and engineering services to NASA.

The contract, which allows NASA to order up to 10 core stages and eight exploration upper stages total, will end in July 2028. The 64.6-meter SLS core stages produce over 2 million pounds of thrust. The first three Artemis missions use a cryogenic propulsion stage, while the following missions will be propelled by the more powerful EUS.

Meanwhile, the Artemis II stage is planned to be completed next year, with the European Service Module already having been delivered by the European Space Agency. Artemis II is scheduled to launch astronauts into lunar orbit in 2024.

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